Precipice – the sensory swill and public speaking #autism

October 8, 2016 § 2 Comments

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My last post A racy blouse and a bottle of paracetamol was partly about the challenge of presenting material to a roomful of people when sensory processing and co-ordination is an issue.

On blogging about this, I received some helpful hints from a growing autistic network of professional people who are out there making it – thank you my people!

Understanding that it is exposure and practice which ultimately help improve performance made the next experience completely different.

I reflect also on the differences in the spaces into which I was to project my voice on two occasions. How access to a mic, to being elevated on a small stage and to have an audience seated informally, all helped me to gain a sense of flow and fluency. Even the lighting in the room and the journey to the venue were factors which differed greatly in my two recent experiences.

This kind of knowledge is the gold dust of acquiring fluency – you might say it could be the bedrock of a professional armoury. Knowing in advance (where possible) the conditions for a talk could allow for adjustments both mental and physical – and to seek accommodations.

As I absorb the learning from my experiences and look forward to more opportunities to share my work, I return to this poem quickly penned on a train on the way to a recent conference. It’s another way to talk about the above.

Precipice.

Vertigo swills.
Swelling,
until I (being so very disconnected)
lose my toe-hold.

A kaleidoscope of colours,
the fairground whirl.

As an overfilled
supermarket trolly
narrowly missing horn,
and prang,
I teeter.

But this is no carpark.

The secret is to be busy,
in this hellish soup
of sound.

The spoon scraping at
scraps till nerve ends flail.

The point is to distract.

Of course, of course,
you say.

And you nod kindly
like a solar powered doggy
in the window.

©Sonia Boué 2016

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§ 2 Responses to Precipice – the sensory swill and public speaking #autism

  • Sonja says:

    Well done Sonia. With you on all this, ‘informal’ definitely helps, and type of light. Though would not be able to speak in any presentation setting. Agreed to do something recently (for the first time ever) and made a video instead, was just able to introduce it, but felt I had achieved something. “Knowing in advance (where possible) the conditions for a talk could allow for adjustments both mental and physical – and to seek accommodations.” Really good advice – so important. Love the words as always, poetry and blog.

    Like

  • Sonja says:

    …what also helped was doing the presentation with a very supportive colleague.

    Like

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